Cataracts are a common, age-related cause of dimmed and blurry vision. Cataracts can make it difficult to read, watch TV, and drive – especially at night. Cataracts tend to develop slowly and typically do not become noticeable until after age 60. About half of all Americans over the age of 65 have cataracts to some extent. Cataracts usually affect both eyes, to varying degrees.
Cataracts occur when the lens covering your eye becomes cloudy, due to natural proteins that build up over time. If you have cataracts, it might seem as though you are seeing things through a dirty window. You may experience increased glare from light or see halos around lights. In its later stages, if left untreated, cataracts can be seen by others as a whitening of the colored portion of your eye.
What Else Can Cause Cataracts?
In addition to age-related cataracts, any type of injury to the eye can contribute to the development of cataracts. This might include direct trauma to the eye, damage due to a previous eye surgery, sun or other radiation exposure, diabetes, steroid medications, and some inherited genetic disorders.
When to See the Eye Doctor About Cataracts
If you are experiencing blurry vision or significant changes in your vision, schedule a visit with one of the doctors at South Florida Vision Associates. Proper treatment begins with a comprehensive eye exam and appropriate diagnostic tests for an accurate diagnosis.
When cataracts are identified early on, there are options available that can slow its progression. This includes quitting smoking, wearing sunglasses when outside in the daylight, and ensuring that any chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, are under control. For a while, more light and stronger prescription eyeglasses may help restore vision for early-stage cataracts.
Treatment Options for Cataracts
If vision impairment due to cataracts is affecting your ability to carry out your usual daily activities or is reducing your quality of life, it may be time for cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure to remove the damaged lens of the eye, which is causing your cloudy vision, and replace it with an artificial one. The surgery can be done using traditional techniques – in which your surgeon uses a scalpel to make an incision in the cornea – or laser-assisted methods.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery is the latest, most advanced method of treating cataracts. It is more precise than traditional methods – and can even correct astigmatism in the same procedure. Laser-assisted cataract surgery utilizes an imaging device that can map the inside of your eye. This is used to program the laser, which can then create an incision of the precise size and depth in exactly the right location of the cornea.
Refractive cataract surgery treats multiple conditions in the same procedure. It removes cataracts and corrects refractive errors, vision problems due to the shape of your eye, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Cataract Surgeons in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie
Do you or a loved one have cataracts? We’d be happy to discuss your treatment options – and help you decide what is best for you. Contact the South Florida Vision Associates ophthalmology location nearest you to schedule your visit. You can also request an appointment now.